NEPHEW LOT--A TOTALLY UNEXPECTED SAINT
ABRAHAM'S NEPHEW LOT--A TOTALLY UNEXPECTED SAINT
Subtitle: Never Judge A Book By Its Cover!!!!!
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As we see recorded in Genesis 11:27, the patriarch Abraham became an uncle when a son was born to his brother Haran. The child was named Lot (which in Hebrew means "covering") and in verse 28 we find that his father Haran died prior to the family moving out of Ur of the Chaldees (a city in what is now the country of Iraq). And from the account that follows in chapter 12 and onward, it appears Abraham assumed the role of Lot's father.
"Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed" Genesis 12:1-3 (KJV, emphasis mine).
We need to take note that God's call to Abram (whom God later renamed Abraham) preceded the family's original move from the city of Ur to the land of Canaan (11:31). In verse 1 of chapter 12 (above), God told Abram to leave his country, his kindred, and his father's house. But apparently when Abram informed his father Terah of that intent, Satan entered the picture! Why do I say this when the narrative does not? Simply because the subsequent actions of Terah "telegraph" that message. Think about it--Terah had three sons: of whom the youngest is now dead (Haran) and the oldest (Abraham) has been visited by "a god" (as the idol-worshipping Terah would have doubtless viewed it) and is now determined to leave all family behind and move approximately 1000 miles away! So to deal with this predicament, Terah also decides to leave everything behind--including Nahor the middle son and his family--to go with Abram into a very uncertain future. To say this flies in the face of common sense would be an understatement. Then to top it all off, Terah (whose name, appropriately enough, means "delay") hinders Abram by only going a little over half way to where God was ultimately leading. Following the route known as the "fertile crescent," which was watered by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers--green areas in the midst of arid wastelands--they made it as far as the headwaters and Terah decided to stop and settle down.
Then once they set up camp, it appears likely the old man named their new place of residence Haran in honor of the son who had died. And while they had traveled quite a distance--they were still a long way from where God intended Abram to be. This one individual had been specifically chosen from among the masses of humanity and Satan obviously took note of it. God's intent to provide a Savior was revealed in the Garden of Eden (Gen.3:15)--in what theologians call the "Protoevangel"--the prototype of the Gospel message. And if we look carefully, we will find that throughout the Old Testament, many attempts were made by Satan to thwart that plan, with this incident clearly being among them.
How long they actually lived in Haran is not stated, but we do know Abram was 75 years old when he finally resumed the journey after his father's death (12:4). No doubt the delay came as a result of obedience to the wishes of his earthly father, but the years in Haran were wasted because his obedience to the heavenly call was incomplete. Only when we do exactly what God tells us to do, can we expect a full reward. And make no mistake about it--the devil will use our love for family in opposition to Gods will for our lives, if we let him.
Finally Abram gathered his family together--including his nephew Lot--and continued the process of separation that God had prompted him to do years before. You see, the people of Abram's home town of Ur--as well as his father and extended family--were not worshippers of Jehovah. They were polytheistic in that they worshipped many gods and routinely bowed down before them. So God's intent was to move Abram completely away from that spirtually blighted environment into the place of blessing--the land of Canaan.
And as Abram's journey continues, we see him grow spiritually as lapses in discernment teach him valuable lessons. But overall, his life was characterized by righteousness.
"And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness" Genesis 15:6 (KJV).
But when we consider his nephew Lot, we find a stark contrast between how they lived their lives! Like entirely too many Christians today, Lot loved the things of this world and did everything he could to "be somebody." Rather than emulating the example of his godly uncle and depending upon the Lord to supply all his needs, he exhibited an attitude of ingratitude. Verses 5 and 6 of chapter 13 tell us that Lot was greatly blessed as long as he remained with Abram:
"And Lot also, which went with Abram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.  And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together. Genesis 13:5-6 (KJV).
But soon he wanted more and when Abram graciously allowed him to choose which part of the land he wanted, Lot took advantage and chose the very best--"the plain of Jordan", which verse 10 compares with the "garden of the Lord" because of its lush Edenic beauty. However, there were thorns on that lovely rose which Lot did not recognize! The extremely wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were situated there and pretty soon "Lot pitched his tent toward Sodom" (Vs.12).
As someone has said, "God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform" and in verses 14-18 we find a clue that shows us Lot's separation from Abram was God's will--because the covenant was not made until after Lot's departure:
" And the Lord said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward:  For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.  And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.  Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee.  Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord. Genesis 13:14-18 (KJV, emphasis mine).
This promise made to Abram (whom God later renames Abraham) is called the "Abrahamic Covenant" and is unconditional. There were no "strings attached" based upon Abram being a good boy and eating his veggies. No, it means exactly what it says and is an eternal, unconditional covenant promised to Abram's greatest "seed" Jesus Christ and all His elect--beginning with the elect among the Jews. (And the elect remnant of Jewish believers today--along with their counterparts among the Gentiles--both being "in Christ" (Eph.1:4)--now hold the title deed to the land of Canaan, which the world refers to as Palestine!).
"Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ" Galatians 3:16 (KJV)
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek" Romans 1:16 (KJV, emphasis mine).
"But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile" Romans 2:10 (KJV, emphasis mine).
Then in chapter 14 we are told that Lot and his family were taken captive by an alliance of four kings who raided Sodom and Gomorrah. And when Abram heard what had happened, he immediately took his 318 servants and pursued the invaders until he caught them in Dan--a settlement in the northernmost part of Canaan. Abram divided his small "army" into two units and surprised the larger force by attacking them at night. The kings were killed and all the captives and their goods were recovered, but Lot obviously did not learn from his close call--because he went right back to Sodom! And the next time we find him, he is said to be sitting in the gate of Sodom (19:1). An old proverb says something to the effect that, "once the camel gets his nose in the tent, the next thing you know the camel will be in the tent!" Lot started off by "pitching his tent toward Sodom," which is a metaphor for lusting after the world. Then he kept getting closer and closer over time until finally he just moved in and settled down in that city of unbridled wickedness. And now, by sitting in the gate, we must understand that he has become a politician--a leader of that community! The custom was that the elders would sit in (or around) the city gate to handle disputes and settle legal issues among the people. So our friend Lot is now a "big shot" and thoroughly entrenched in the secular workaday world of Sodom. But what he is totally unaware of is that God has previously appeared to Abram (in chapter 18) to tell him the cites of Sodom and Gomorrah were going to be destroyed because of their wickedness. Well, Abram still loves his nephew and he immediately tries to intercede with God in an effort to save him and his family from destruction. And by negotiating with God as His friend (James 2:23), he manages to get God to say He would spare the cities if only 10 righteous people could be found within its walls.
We know that Lot's family probably consisted of at least 10 people because of the final number Abram sought-- (Lot, his wife, two daughters still at home, and at least two married daughters [19:14--where "daughters" is plural] and their husbands, plus children?). But in any case, subsequent events prove that 10 righteous people were not to be found--and that glaring fact speaks volumes about Lot's lack of testimony with his family. When he warned his sons in law to flee (vs.14), "....he seemed to them as one that mocked...."
So the angels God sent to destroy the cities then compel Lot to take his wife and two daughters and flee for their lives. "The Lord being merciful unto him" (vs.16), the angels literally took them by their hands and thrust them outside the city--instructing them to head for the mountains lest they be consumed with the cities. And to show the extent of Lot's spiritual decline, rather than escape to the safety of the mountains, he begs to be allowed to go to the small city of Zoar which was nearby. And in exasperation, the angel agrees to spare Zoar because Lot and his family will be there (vs.21). Then in verse 22 we find a tremendous principle of God's Word:
"Make haste and take refuge there, for I cannot do anything until you have arrived there. Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar [little]" Genesis 19:22 (Parallel Bible, Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine.)
Even God's avenging angels were powerless to execute judgment until those who were under God's protection had reached safety. But was that protection solely due to Abram's intercession? Stay tuned......
Previously, the angels had instructed them not "to look behind thee" (vs.17) as they fled to Zoar and just as Lot entered the city--"the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven"--totally destroying all the cities in the plain, with the sole exception of their refuge, the little town of Zoar. But the irresistable allurement of what sin has to offer overcame Lot's wife and she could not bring herself to avert her eyes from Sodom. And because of that disobedience, she was instantaneously reduced to a "pillar of salt" (vs.26). Deliverance was so very close, but lusting after the world was her undoing.
And what transpires next is disgusting, but it vividly portrays how
little Lot had taught his family about spiritual values--things to which
he had doubtless been exposed when he lived with his godly uncle Abram--but
failed to communicate to his own loved ones.
Fearful for his life, Lot then takes his two daughters to the mountains--where they dwell in a cave. And at some point, the eldest daughter "gets an idea" (and we know with whom it originated, do we not?--the same one who hindered Abram as he tried to separate from both the world and his family in Ur of the Chaldees!). She tells her younger sister that their prospects for marriage and children were looking pretty slim, so if their family tree was to survive--they would have to take matters into their own hands. So she devised a plan to get daddy drunk that night and have sexual relations with him. It worked and Lot was so drunk he did not even know when she came in or left. Then the next night, little sis did the same thing with the same results. Both became pregnant through this incestuous relationship and I wonder how long it took Lot to sober up and figure out the details?
This whole incident reminds me of the passage of Scripture which says:
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting" Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV).
Lot was guilty of loving the world and sowing to his fleshly desires. And he definitely reaped the fruit of the "seeds" he had sown with his daughters. Both gave birth to baby boys. The eldest daugher named her son "Moab" and the youngest named hers "Ben-ammi." Later, these two boys took heathen girls as their wives and the Moabites and Ammonites came into existence--bitter enemies of Israel throughout their entire history!
(And lest we overlook Abram in this same department, let us not forget that he tried to "help God" provide the son he was promised by taking Hagar, the Egyptian handmaiden, as his wife. She gave birth to Ishmael--the father of the Arabs, and they too have been a thorn in the side of Israel).
So what should we conclude about this man Lot? Is it even remotely conceivable that we should expect to see that sinful and worldly wretch in God's eternal Kingdom? Based upon the evidence as presented in the Book of Genesis, I am afraid most of us would have very serious doubts! But praise the Lord, salvation does not depend upon the opinions of men and the apostle Peter removes all doubt when he says:
"And he rescued righteous Lot, greatly worn out and distressed by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless. For that just man, living [there] among them, tortured his righteous soul every day with what he saw and heard of [their] unlawful and wicked deeds" 2 Peter 2:7-8 (Parallel Bible, KJV/Amplified Bible Commentary, emphasis mine).
Now Lot had no one to blame but himself and his own sin tortured him every day as he lived among those vile and ungodly people. But he will also be judged someday by Jesus Christ--along with all the elect individuals of the Old Testament--and rebuke for being an unprofitable servant would seem to be a distinct possiblity for him. But all of us should take heart at what the inspired Word of God has to say about him through the apostle Peter--he was undeniably an elect child of God's grace and the extent of his sins had no bearing upon his salvation. So for those of you who are convinced one can forfeit their salvation, what more could Lot possibly have done to lose it????!!!
If you have been born again and received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, but have been very lukewarm in your spiritual walk with Him, you need to immediately ask Him for forgiveness and for renewal. He will instantly forgive you, and fill your heart with the joy of the Holy Spirit. Then, you need to begin a daily walk of prayer and personal Bible Study.
If you have never placed your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, but have come to sense His reality and the approaching End of the Age, and want to receive His FREE Gift of Eternal Life, you can do so now, in the privacy of your home. Once you truly believe in Him as Lord and Savior, you are spiritually Born Again, and are as assured of Heaven as if you were already there. Then, you can rest assured that the Kingdom of Antichrist will not touch you spiritually. If you would like to become Born Again, turn to our Salvation Page now.
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